The Casual Vacancy Review

The Casual Vacancy; JK Rowling’s first dip into writing for the adult audience. It blew charts away,  being bought by millions and obviously earning her a fortune due to its £20 price tag. I must admit it was an interesting read, not something I would usually delve into but interesting still the same.

The book tells the story of the inhabitants of a small town called Pagford. When I say the inhabitants, I mean all of them. Every single citizen of this town seems to be included in some way and the reader is not only expected to know them by name but the follow the many strands of interconnecting storylines which link them. This was my main issue with the book, the sheer amount of characters which I did not manage to understand until about halfway through the book, and it’s a very long book.

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But putting that aside I’ll continue to tell you what it’s about. At the beginning of the story a man has a heart attack and dies. His name is Barry Fairbrother and he is a member of Pagford’s Parish Council, a very prominent member in fact. So prominent in fact that the first two hundred pages of the book are given to recounting people’s reactions at his death.

The rest of the book sort-of recounts how 4 people apply to get old Barry’s seat on the council, hindered by somebody who’s been posting revealing messages about the candidates on the Parish website. Guess who’s doing it! Barry Fairbrother’s Ghost (actually just some teenagers wanting to get revenge on their parents for God knows what).

In my opinion; the book is ok, hindered only by the sheer amount of characters that I mentioned earlier. I actually began to enjoy watching events unfold, from the teenagers; rebellious and insert adjective here, to their parents, fighting for their reputation. I would recommend it to Rowling fans, it’s an interesting read. The rest of you; go and read Harry Potter first.

Top 5 Book Series

After the brilliant post I did a few days ago, I set my mind on thinking up a sequel. However, whilst browsing through my book collection, I found that I have not read many bad books and most of the ones I have had been put down after the first few pages.

And so I turned my attention to those book series that everybody loves. Book series give you the chance to get to know the characters and the on-going storylines in a way that normal books don’t. Here goes.

5. Children of the red king – Jenny Nimmo

This eight-part series tells the tale of Charlie Bone as he discovers about his ancestor, the red King and the powers his descendants have inherited.

In my opinion I feel that this series (as a child’s series) is a little complex and very unrealistic. However the series does suck you in making you want to discover more about the Red King’s world.

4. Echo Falls Trilogy – Peter Abrahams

Echo Falls, a town where nothing is as it seems, and Ingrid Levin-Hill a young girl fantasising about life as a detective. This trilogy is full of great deceiving mysteries as well as on-going storylines between the characters.

3. Power of Five – Anthony Horowitz

10,000 years ago, the world was in turmoil and under the control of the all-powerful Old Ones. However the Old Ones were defeated by the five, five children who had the control to banish these beings.

Today the Old Ones are awakening again and the five children are reborn.

2. Harry Potter – JK Rowling

Everybody knows this one, the story about the boy wizard who finds out about the magical world, hidden from Muggles.

The only surprise here is how Harry Potter didn’t get the top spot was not because Harry Potter has any particular faults (all though the first few books are badly written) it is mainly because number one is so brilliant.

1. His Dark Materials trilogy – Philip Pullman

I love the word trilogy.

This timeless classic, written spectacularly and containing such varying themes, is set in a parallel universe where people’s souls (dæmons) walk beside them in the shape of animals. But this world is disrupted by corruption. Children are being taken and a hole between the universes is being blown open.

I love this series, the first book; Northern Lights is probably my favourite ever book (the only reason it was not included in the last post was because that post did not contain books from series).

Coolio, that was fun. Reading over that list definitely makes you remember all the great books there are out there.

Check regularly for updates on my blog, what might I write about next?

Mad about Pottermore

 I pride myself as being a great fan of Harry Potter. I have read the first book 16 times and the rest countless more times. I know nearly everything there is to know about the Potter universe and have memorised great chunks of the text.

So I, like many others, was very sad when the last film came out, as it marked the end of the time when I would always be looking forward to the release of the next book or film.

However I soon heard tell about a brand new, interactive Potter website which would be coming online at the end of the year. Its name, Pottermore!

And so I waited for this new site that would be coming open soon. And waited. And waited.

6 months later than promised. I was allowed in.

 Although annoyed about having to wait so long for them to fix a couple of server problems, I cannot deny that the chance to explore Pottermore was exciting. You emerge into a bright purple ‘Gateway’ filled with mysterious swirls and graphics which had obviously not come cheap.

As you explore the world of Pottermore you can see all parts of the story that you never see in the films and to an extent, the books either. Scattered along the way are objects, books and even specially written content by JK Rowling.

You also get a chance to be sorted into one of the houses yourself. GO GRYFFINDOR!

Trust me. Pottermore is amazing. Try it out.

And while you’re there, you can add me            ^^^^^^.

Pictures:

http://harrypotter.wikia.com/wiki/Pottermore

http://penpalthe.wordpress.com/2012/04/25/mad-about-pottermore/

http://io9.com/5831554/first-glimpses-inside-jk-rowlings-magical-online-world-of-pottermore